10 Tips for Successful Holiday Entertaining

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Tips for holiday entertaining blog

Whether you find yourself in Mexico, Canada or the US this holiday season, the following ideas are good reminders to support you this hectic time of year, and in the process delight your Mexican, Canadian and American guests:

1. First things first: Take time for you, so that you can be truly there for your guests. Get a mani/pedi, and choose something you love to wear ahead of time. You should be comfortable but also a little dressed up as a way to honor your guests. Wear something new, if possible. In Mexico, it is thought to be good luck to wear something new around holiday time – and especially on New Year’s Day – very auspicious – sets the tone for your new year.

2. Plan the gathering in your mind and envision the flow of activity; have a general idea of what will happen when. For example, guests arrive, welcome toast, hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, main meal, musical interlude, dessert, presents.

3. Use lots of candles. Nothing creates better ambiance than beautiful candlelight. Humans have had a love affair with fire since its discovery – it’s an archetypal symbol of community, heart, gathering, warmth. Use wall sconces, candles, tapers and even chandeliers to help create a beautiful atmosphere in your home for holiday entertaining. We feature a lovely sconce, a standing “candil” and gorgeous chandeliers on our accessories page.

4. Set your tables, linens, dinnerware, glassware and cutlery at least a day in advance. If you need extras, it’s best to know ahead of time. If you are in Mexico, you can decorate your Mexican home for the holidays using with bright, beautiful colors, large bright paper flowers found in the markets, and you can choose your favorite Mexican nativity set – it can be a family heirloom for many generations to come, reminding you and your family of all your Mexican holiday stories and adventures.

5. Make tried and true dishes (no first-timers) and make them ahead of time if at all possible. This way you can be fairly relaxed the day of the gathering. If you are in Mexico for the holidays, it is a treat to hire someone to make fresh corn tortillas right at your home for the party, and have them available freshly made and oh-so-warm for your guests.

6. Try to have your home cleaned professionally a few days beforehand, so you don’t have to agonize over cleaning as well as all the other details of hosting and entertaining.

7. Hire some help to make sure glasses are replenished, food is warmed, used plates and glasses promptly discarded. Be about your guests rather than running around worrying about the details. If you are in Mexico for the holidays, additional help for a holiday party can be obtained easily and economically.

8. Give a parting gift to your guests – cookies, a votive candle, a small box of chocolates they can take home with them – another way of letting them know “you are important to me.” If you are in Mexico, at least have some small toys available for the children to take with them after the party or gathering. In Mexico, much of Christmas is for the children and they are celebrated and accommodated in a special way.

9. Once you’ve readied yourself for the gathering and have treated yourself like royalty … Treat your guests like royalty.

10. Have a good time. Relax, catch up, and enjoy your own food and drink. A holiday gathering, whether in Canada, Mexico or the US is about connecting with others, sharing in our blessings and celebrating togetherness. When you have a good time at your own party, it makes it so much easier for everybody else to also have fun!

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